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· Registered
38 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I set up shop about a year ago printing shirts with a mate of mine.
I expect our story is much the same as many others on here. We did
some of our own designs, we did some small 'wholesale' jobs and we did
some bits and bobs for local clubs and charities etc. It's gone quite
well. We sell some through our website, some on eBay and Amazon and
we have had a couple of really big hits with one-off limited edition
prints we've done.

The thing is, we've always wanted to have a clothing 'brand' rather
than just be a couple of guys who print funny t-shirts. Our designs
are good, we spend a lot longer on them than most 'funny' t-shirt
companies. But the bottom line is that we're still taking a Gildan
blank and slapping a plastisol print on it.

I've looked for suppliers of something a bit different, distressed
shirts, hoodies with more detailing etc, but the truth is it's all
basically the same stuff.

I suppose the only route is to speak to factories in China or Turkey
is it? To design the complete garment and talk to them about
production? Is it really the case that UK manufacturing is so
non-exisitant as to make these the only options even for

Has anyone gone this route before?

· Registered
1,693 Posts
bear in mind that people generally are buying the art on the shirt moreso than the shirt itself. particularly if it's 'just' a funny tee, minus some kind of lifestyle attachment or easily recognized logo, i wouldn't necessarily be searching for chinese companies to create a new garment for me. that's rather like slapping a bumper sticker on a porsche, no? besides that, the quantities you'd have to order are likely to be pretty high, probably no less than 500, maybe more, not quite sure.

i think i'd stick with what's already available. if gildan isn't your top choice, there are tons of other brands out there to choose from that i'm sure will satisfy your customer's needs. and is this something you want to do for the customer's satisfaction or your own? that is, does your market expect a really great quality shirt besides the funny part? is your market willing to pay more for it?

· Registered
38 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
We're at crossed purposes a bit.

What I mean is not getting bespoke shirts in and printing the funny stuff on them. I mean let's leave that shirts side of the business as it is. It is what it is and it makes money.

But now we want to take the profits from that and start a real brand. Not a slogans brand (like plain lazy) but something more premium. Think weird fish, mambo, So-Cal, hollister, howies, and so on.

Numbers? Well yeah, it'll be "boutique" volumes to start with but a few trade shows, some ads in the trade press and who knows?

· Registered
539 Posts
This is a conundrum for most business, going from been a service provider to a brand.

This usually starts with strategy, mission statement (Purpose, vision, mission, values). How do you create the change in the customers mind from been the guys with the print shop who also print funny t-shirts. You will need to look at separating the business out and marketing them differently, to the different markets. Can you be both a t-shirt printer and then a separate brand?

Going to get your own t-shirt block with labels can only work if the increase in costs can be passed on to the customer. If you after a point of difference then try find a local manufacturer and market the carbon savings as well as local factor.

Don’t forget to try India too, they have a great t-shirt manufacturing sector.
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